Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

Scotland: On the path to independence?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Le Figaro: Is it really possible to 'destroy' the Islamic State organisation?

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Hundreds of flights cancelled as Air France pilots strike

Read more

WEB NEWS

Investigative reporting in the digital age

Read more

WEB NEWS

Online reactions to the death of David Haines

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Patrick Chauvel, French war photographer

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Oscar Pistorius trial: Sprinter convicted of culpable homicide

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World this Week - September 12th, 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World this Week - September 12th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

Our Focus programme brings you exclusive reports from around the world. From Monday to Friday at 7.45 am Paris time.

FOCUS

FOCUS

Latest update : 2010-03-04

The scandal of Cambodia's rehabilitation centres

A report by Human Rights Watch denounces the harsh methods used by Cambodian authorities against young drug addicts in rehabilitation centres which resemble prisons. FRANCE 24 correspondent Cyril Payen went to investigate and sent us this exclusive report.

At night, in the streets of Phnom Penh, you don't need to look far to find the down-and-out of Cambodian society. The country counts some 500,000 drug addicts.

The methods used by the government to ‘rehabilitate’ these drug users are at the centre of a report by Human Rights Watch published on Jan. 25, 2010. The NGO denounces the use of torture, rape and a whole array of physical abuses in some of these rehabilitation centres.

We went to meet these drug addicts and their stories are damning. All of this community of excluded people lives in fear of being sent back to a centre where they are treated like animals.

Instead of being weaned off their drug addictions, these street children picked up by the police suffer physical and sometimes sexual abuse, and are forced to work long hours without any pay.

As for the Cambodian authorities, they deny these accusations outright and point out that numerous international organisations finance the centres directly or indirectly, in a country where half the government’s budget depends on international aid.

One of the centres denounced by Human Rights Watch, situated on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, takes in children aged from four to eleven. All are street children addicted to sniffing glue and who arrive here after being arrested by the police. Ironically, this centre which is so well known to human rights organisations is financed by UNICEF, the UN agency for the protection of children.

Despite the publication of the HRW report and the accusations against UNICEF, the latter has reportedly not carried out any investigation, and no notable change has been observed in how the Cambodian rehabilitation centres are run.

By Cyril PAYEN

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2014-09-12 World War I

The ghosts of German-ruled Namibia

Over a century ago, Germany colonised what is now know as Namibia. In the years that followed, tens of thousands of Africans were killed and all opposition was crushed. After its...

Read more

2014-09-11 humanitarian action

Calais struggles with flood of UK-bound migrants

For years, the northern French city of Calais has been a transit point for some of the world's most desperate people: migrants from countries like Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan and...

Read more

2014-09-10 sport

Invictus Games: Veterans continue fight on home front

In the UK, hundreds of injured servicemen and women have gathered from 13 countries for the first Invictus Games, the brainchild of Prince Harry. Based on a similar idea in the...

Read more

2014-09-09 India

'Linguistic Apartheid' in India?

In India, a simple English test has caused thousands of students to hold protests. They say the entrance exam for the civil service is elitist and discriminatory. In a country of...

Read more

2014-09-08 diplomacy

Tokyo determined to secure return of abducted citizens from North Korea

In the 1970s and 1980s, dozens of Japanese citizens were abducted by North Korea. Many were used to help train North Koreans to fit into Japanese society as spies. Officially...

Read more